II Samuel 20
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1  A scoundrel named Sheba son of Bichri, a Benjaminite, happened to be there. He sounded the shofar and proclaimed: “We have no portion in David, No share in Yishai‘s son! Every man to his tent, O Yisrael!”

v’-SHAM nik-RA EESH b’-li-YA-al u-sh’-MO SHE-va ben bikh-REE EESH y’-mee-NEE va-yit-KA ba-sho-FAR va-YO-mer ayn LA-nu KHAY-lek b’-da-VID v’-LO na-kha-lah LA-nu b’-ven yi-SHAI EESH l’-o-ha-LAV yis-ra-AYL

א  וְשָׁם נִקְרָא אִישׁ בְּלִיַּעַל וּשְׁמוֹ שֶׁבַע בֶּן־בִּכְרִי אִישׁ יְמִינִי וַיִּתְקַע בַּשֹּׁפָר וַיֹּאמֶר אֵין־לָנוּ חֵלֶק בְּדָוִד וְלֹא נַחֲלָה־לָנוּ בְּבֶן־יִשַׁי אִישׁ לְאֹהָלָיו יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

 20:1   He sounded the horn

The ram’s horn, shofar (שופר), has a critical place in Judaism. Hashem commands the Jewish people to listen to the sounds of the shofar on Rosh Hashana, and there are times that it is to be blown in the Beit Hamikdash, such as on public fasts. It is also to be sounded at the end of the yovel, the Jubilee year. But in addition to these spiritual functions, it also has military usages. The shofar serves as the method of assembling soldiers and of sounding a warning call. The common feature is that in all these cases, the shofar is sounded to get everyone’s attention to fulfill their particular mission. It serves to awaken those who are slumbering, either physically or spiritually.Comment

2  All the men of Yisrael left David and followed Sheba son of Bichri; but the men of Yehuda accompanied their king from the Yarden to Yerushalayim.

ב  וַיַּעַל כָּל־אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵאַחֲרֵי דָוִד אַחֲרֵי שֶׁבַע בֶּן־בִּכְרִי וְאִישׁ יְהוּדָה דָּבְקוּ בְמַלְכָּם מִן־הַיַּרְדֵּן וְעַד־יְרוּשָׁלִָם׃

3  David went to his palace in Yerushalayim, and the king took the ten concubines he had left to mind the palace and put them in a guarded place; he provided for them, but he did not cohabit with them. They remained in seclusion until the day they died, in living widowhood.

ג  וַיָּבֹא דָוִד אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ יְרוּשָׁלִַם וַיִּקַּח הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵת עֶשֶׂר־נָשִׁים פִּלַגְשִׁים אֲשֶׁר הִנִּיחַ לִשְׁמֹר הַבַּיִת וַיִּתְּנֵם בֵּית־מִשְׁמֶרֶת וַיְכַלְכְּלֵם וַאֲלֵיהֶם לֹא־בָא וַתִּהְיֶינָה צְרֻרוֹת עַד־יוֹם מֻתָן אַלְמְנוּת חַיּוּת׃

4  The king said to Amasa, “Call up the men of Yehuda to my standard, and report here three days from now.”

ד  וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־עֲמָשָׂא הַזְעֶק־לִי אֶת־אִישׁ־יְהוּדָה שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים וְאַתָּה פֹּה עֲמֹד׃

5  Amasa went to call up Yehuda, but he took longer than the time set for him.

ה  וַיֵּלֶךְ עֲמָשָׂא לְהַזְעִיק אֶת־יְהוּדָה וייחר [וַיּוֹחֶר] מִן־הַמּוֹעֵד אֲשֶׁר יְעָדוֹ׃

6  And David said to Avishai, “Now Sheba son of Bichri will cause us more trouble than Avshalom. So take your lord’s servants and pursue him, before he finds fortified towns and eludes us.”

ו  וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל־אֲבִישַׁי עַתָּה יֵרַע לָנוּ שֶׁבַע בֶּן־בִּכְרִי מִן־אַבְשָׁלוֹם אַתָּה קַח אֶת־עַבְדֵי אֲדֹנֶיךָ וּרְדֹף אַחֲרָיו פֶּן־מָצָא לוֹ עָרִים בְּצֻרוֹת וְהִצִּיל עֵינֵנוּ׃

7  Yoav‘s men, the Cherethites and Pelethites, and all the warriors, marched out behind him. They left Yerushalayim in pursuit of Sheba son of Bichri.

ז  וַיֵּצְאוּ אַחֲרָיו אַנְשֵׁי יוֹאָב וְהַכְּרֵתִי וְהַפְּלֵתִי וְכָל־הַגִּבֹּרִים וַיֵּצְאוּ מִירוּשָׁלִַם לִרְדֹּף אַחֲרֵי שֶׁבַע בֶּן־בִּכְרִי׃

8  They were near the great stone in Givon when Amasa appeared before them. Yoav was wearing his military dress, with his sword girded over it and fastened around his waist in its sheath; and, as he stepped forward, it fell out.

ח  הֵם עִם־הָאֶבֶן הַגְּדוֹלָה אֲשֶׁר בְּגִבְעוֹן וַעֲמָשָׂא בָּא לִפְנֵיהֶם וְיוֹאָב חָגוּר מִדּוֹ לְבֻשׁוּ ועלו [וְעָלָיו] חֲגוֹר חֶרֶב מְצֻמֶּדֶת עַל־מָתְנָיו בְּתַעְרָהּ וְהוּא יָצָא וַתִּפֹּל׃

9  Yoav said to Amasa, “How are you, brother?” and with his right hand Yoav took hold of Amasa‘s beard as if to kiss him.

ט  וַיֹּאמֶר יוֹאָב לַעֲמָשָׂא הֲשָׁלוֹם אַתָּה אָחִי וַתֹּחֶז יַד־יְמִין יוֹאָב בִּזְקַן עֲמָשָׂא לִנְשָׁק־לוֹ׃

10  Amasa was not on his guard against the sword in Yoav‘s [left] hand, and [Yoav] drove it into his belly so that his entrails poured out on the ground and he died; he did not need to strike him a second time. Yoav and his brother Avishai then set off in pursuit of Sheba son of Bichri,

י  וַעֲמָשָׂא לֹא־נִשְׁמַר בַּחֶרֶב אֲשֶׁר בְּיַד־יוֹאָב וַיַּכֵּהוּ בָהּ אֶל־הַחֹמֶשׁ וַיִּשְׁפֹּךְ מֵעָיו אַרְצָה וְלֹא־שָׁנָה לוֹ וַיָּמֹת וְיוֹאָב וַאֲבִישַׁי אָחִיו רָדַף אַחֲרֵי שֶׁבַע בֶּן־בִּכְרִי׃

11  while one of Yoav‘s henchmen stood by the corpse and called out, “Whoever favors Yoav, and whoever is on David‘s side, follow Yoav!”

יא  וְאִישׁ עָמַד עָלָיו מִנַּעֲרֵי יוֹאָב וַיֹּאמֶר מִי אֲשֶׁר חָפֵץ בְּיוֹאָב וּמִי אֲשֶׁר־לְדָוִד אַחֲרֵי יוֹאָב׃

12  Amasa lay in the middle of the road, drenched in his blood; and the man saw that everyone stopped. And when he saw that all the people were stopping, he dragged Amasa from the road into the field and covered him with a garment.

יב  וַעֲמָשָׂא מִתְגֹּלֵל בַּדָּם בְּתוֹךְ הַמְסִּלָּה וַיַּרְא הָאִישׁ כִּי־עָמַד כָּל־הָעָם וַיַּסֵּב אֶת־עֲמָשָׂא מִן־הַמְסִלָּה הַשָּׂדֶה וַיַּשְׁלֵךְ עָלָיו בֶּגֶד כַּאֲשֶׁר רָאָה כָּל־הַבָּא עָלָיו וְעָמָד׃

13  Once he was removed from the road, everybody continued to follow Yoav in pursuit of Sheba son of Bichri.

יג  כַּאֲשֶׁר הֹגָה מִן־הַמְסִלָּה עָבַר כָּל־אִישׁ אַחֲרֵי יוֹאָב לִרְדֹּף אַחֲרֵי שֶׁבַע בֶּן־בִּכְרִי׃

14  [Sheba] had passed through all the tribes of Yisrael up to Abel of Beth-maacah; and all the B’erites assembled and followed him inside.

יד  וַיַּעֲבֹר בְּכָל־שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אָבֵלָה וּבֵית מַעֲכָה וְכָל־הַבֵּרִים ויקלהו [וַיִּקָּהֲלוּ] וַיָּבֹאוּ אַף־אַחֲרָיו׃

15  [Yoav‘s men] came and besieged him in Abel of Beth-maacah; they threw up a siegemound against the city and it stood against the rampart. All the troops with Yoav were engaged in battering the wall,

טו  וַיָּבֹאוּ וַיָּצֻרוּ עָלָיו בְּאָבֵלָה בֵּית הַמַּעֲכָה וַיִּשְׁפְּכוּ סֹלְלָה אֶל־הָעִיר וַתַּעֲמֹד בַּחֵל וְכָל־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר אֶת־יוֹאָב מַשְׁחִיתִם לְהַפִּיל הַחוֹמָה׃

16  when a clever woman shouted from the city, “Listen! Listen! Tell Yoav to come over here so I can talk to him.”

טז  וַתִּקְרָא אִשָּׁה חֲכָמָה מִן־הָעִיר שִׁמְעוּ שִׁמְעוּ אִמְרוּ־נָא אֶל־יוֹאָב קְרַב עַד־הֵנָּה וַאֲדַבְּרָה אֵלֶיךָ׃

17  He approached her, and the woman asked, “Are you Yoav?” “Yes,” he answered; and she said to him, “Listen to what your handmaid has to say.” “I’m listening,” he replied.

יז  וַיִּקְרַב אֵלֶיהָ וַתֹּאמֶר הָאִשָּׁה הַאַתָּה יוֹאָב וַיֹּאמֶר אָנִי וַתֹּאמֶר לוֹ שְׁמַע דִּבְרֵי אֲמָתֶךָ וַיֹּאמֶר שֹׁמֵעַ אָנֹכִי׃

18  And she continued, “In olden times people used to say, ‘Let them inquire of Abel,’ and that was the end of the matter.

יח  וַתֹּאמֶר לֵאמֹר דַּבֵּר יְדַבְּרוּ בָרִאשֹׁנָה לֵאמֹר שָׁאֹל יְשָׁאֲלוּ בְּאָבֵל וְכֵן הֵתַמּוּ׃

19  I am one of those who seek the welfare of the faithful in Yisrael. But you seek to bring death upon a mother city in Yisrael! Why should you destroy Hashem‘s possession?”

יט  אָנֹכִי שְׁלֻמֵי אֱמוּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אַתָּה מְבַקֵּשׁ לְהָמִית עִיר וְאֵם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל לָמָּה תְבַלַּע נַחֲלַת יְהֹוָה׃

20  Yoav replied, “Far be it, far be it from me to destroy or to ruin!

כ  וַיַּעַן יוֹאָב וַיֹּאמַר חָלִילָה חָלִילָה לִי אִם־אֲבַלַּע וְאִם־אַשְׁחִית׃

21  Not at all! But a certain man from the hill country of Efraim, named Sheba son of Bichri, has rebelled against King David. Just hand him alone over to us, and I will withdraw from the city.” The woman assured Yoav, “His head shall be thrown over the wall to you.”

כא  לֹא־כֵן הַדָּבָר כִּי אִישׁ מֵהַר אֶפְרַיִם שֶׁבַע בֶּן־בִּכְרִי שְׁמוֹ נָשָׂא יָדוֹ בַּמֶּלֶךְ בְּדָוִד תְּנוּ־אֹתוֹ לְבַדּוֹ וְאֵלְכָה מֵעַל הָעִיר וַתֹּאמֶר הָאִשָּׁה אֶל־יוֹאָב הִנֵּה רֹאשׁוֹ מֻשְׁלָךְ אֵלֶיךָ בְּעַד הַחוֹמָה׃

22  The woman came to all the people with her clever plan; and they cut off the head of Sheba son of Bichri and threw it down to Yoav. He then sounded the shofar; all the men dispersed to their homes, and Yoav returned to the king in Yerushalayim.

כב  וַתָּבוֹא הָאִשָּׁה אֶל־כָּל־הָעָם בְּחָכְמָתָהּ וַיִּכְרְתוּ אֶת־רֹאשׁ שֶׁבַע בֶּן־בִּכְרִי וַיַּשְׁלִכוּ אֶל־יוֹאָב וַיִּתְקַע בַּשּׁוֹפָר וַיָּפֻצוּ מֵעַל־הָעִיר אִישׁ לְאֹהָלָיו וְיוֹאָב שָׁב יְרוּשָׁלִַם אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

23  Yoav was commander of the whole army [of] Yisrael; Benaiah son of Yehoyada was commander of the Cherethites and the Pelethites;

כג  וְיוֹאָב אֶל כָּל־הַצָּבָא יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבְנָיָה בֶּן־יְהוֹיָדָע עַל־הכרי [הַכְּרֵתִי] וְעַל־הַפְּלֵתִי׃

24  Adoram was in charge of forced labor; Yehoshafat son of Achilud was recorder;

כד  וַאֲדֹרָם עַל־הַמַּס וִיהוֹשָׁפָט בֶּן־אֲחִילוּד הַמַּזְכִּיר׃

25  Sheva was scribe; and Tzadok and Evyatar were Kohanim.

כה  ושיא [וּשְׁוָא] סֹפֵר וְצָדוֹק וְאֶבְיָתָר כֹּהֲנִים׃

26  Ira the Yairite also served David as Kohen.

כו  וְגַם עִירָא הַיָּאִרִי הָיָה כֹהֵן לְדָוִד׃

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II Samuel 20

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